The Authenticity of the Four Gospels

What makes the four gospels stand out over the gnostics gospels? Why do we have only four gospels? Why not five or six? Dr. Kruger unpacked the uniqueness and authenticity of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) in the video below:

“If you want to know what Jesus is like, who He was, what He did, and what He said, there’s only one place the early Christians really have ever gone and that is the same place we go today, that is Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John.”

Dr. Michael Krugger

Here are some of my notes from Michael Krugger’s God’s Word in the Early Church. The Four things that make the Four gospels unique:

  1. DATE: Our four gospels are the earliest gospels that we possess.
    • There is a historical consensus that these are the only gospel dated to the first century.
    • The closer you get to the events of Jesus, the better.
    • Since they were published in the first century, there are other eyewitnesses who can testify to the authenticity of the gospels.
    • The apocryphal gospels were all written after the 1st century.
  2. AUTHOR: Our four gospels have a credible connection to the apostles.
    • The authors actually know what happened.
    • Example: The gospel of John: We have the testimony of the early church fathers (Iraneus and Polycarp – John’s disciples).
    • Implication: We have authoritative testimony.
  3. HONESTY: Our four gospels lack the legendary embellishments of later gospels.
    • When you read the apocryphal gospels they are loaded with bizarre contents.
    • When you read the canonical gospels, you’ll never see the resurrection taking place. We know little about the childhood of Jesus.
    • Have you read the gospel of Thomas or the gospel of Peter? Can you spot its difference and ridiculous accounts?
  4. RECOGNITION: Our four gospels were recognized as authoritative from the very early day.
    • Which gospels do the early church like? Read? Copy?
    • Some say that apocryphal gospels are more popular.
    • Iranaeus, Clement of Alexandria, & other church fathers only have four gospels.
    • We do not have early manuscripts (codex) that have both the apocryphal and canonical gospels mixed.
    • We do not have a single early canonical list where the canonical gospels are mixed with the apocryphal.
    • We have thousands of copies of the canonical gospels. We only have 3 copies of the gospel of Thomas. Some apocryphal gospels do not have extant copies, we can only know them because they were mentioned in some writings.


ὅτι ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα· αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν. ~ ΠΡΟΣ ΡΟΜΑΙΟΥΣ 11:36

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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